I don’t remember your name. Which, in and of itself, makes me feel terrible. I remember you were tall. I remember you had blond hair. And I remember you liked me. You really, really liked me.
You were mutual friends with people I wasn’t really friends with myself, but on a few occasions we found ourselves socializing at parties or clubs. I was single but still hung up on the guy who’d just broken my heart. You didn’t know this. You had no idea how messed up I was inside. I have no idea what you thought you saw in me, but whatever it was, you homed in on it and you were persistent.
After every social outing where we were both in attendance, the girls in our group would rally around me and ask me how I felt about you, tell me how into me you were, and try to find redeeming qualities that somehow I was obviously missing.
And the truth is, you were a nice guy. But, you couldn’t take “no” for an answer. You’d pull me into your lap when I’d been drinking without my consent. When we were out dancing you’d grab my waist and bring me to you. I would turn around and not face you because I was looking so hard for an exit.
But, despite all this, I honestly don’t believe you were trying to take advantage of me. I think you were being egged on by the guys in our group, who were pretty much all trash. And I didn’t think you were trash. But, I also didn’t think you were the guy for me.
There are reasons for this. A lot of them. And I promise you, I would not have made you happy. I was a hellcat when you met me. I would have devoured your soul and left you miserable. But, you were so persistent. No matter how many times I pulled away, left parties early to meet up with my ex, talked about him, cried about him, and avoided being alone with you or maintaining eye contact, you were persistent.
It got old. Over the span of several months I grew tired of running away from you. Everyone adored you and many wanted to see us get together, but it was frustrating. What I didn’t understand then but I do understand now, is women are so often seen as commodities or goods to be assessed and then passed around. I didn’t understand that the guys and girls in our group had sized me up and decided you should have a girl that looked like me, even if the girl inside my body didn’t agree.
So, I didn’t relent. I stood my ground and every time your hand touched me without permission or one of our guy friends pulled me aside to tell me to give you a chance, I grew more and more angry. And one night it all came to a head.
We were playing a party game. It was some sort of guessing game where we had to describe characters or people or things without actually saying what they were. Everyone had paired off intentionally to force you and I onto a team. I hated this and my eyes pleaded with the girls in our group not to do this, but they giggled and winked at me instead.
It was our turn. You drew your card. You began describing the thing on the card and then you looked at me with an “aha!” moment and said, “Okay, I’m THIS!”
And I swear to you…
I swear I never meant to say this or even think this…
Everyone froze. The color drained from your cheeks and you looked down at the card and said, “No, uh, no. I am, but, no…it’s uh…” And you motioned for your height.
You meant tall.
There was awkward laughing around the table. I tried to push through it and pretend it didn’t happen. A quick, “Oh, sorry” and then we just kept on with the game. The rest of the night I was kinder to you than before. You were hurt. Deeply, deeply hurt. And it wasn’t my intention. No matter how pressured I felt, I never meant to hurt you. But, I did. And it was wrong.
So, I made eye contact. I listened if you talked. I didn’t squirm away if you stood too close to me. Because I felt like I owed you that. At the very least, you were owed some kindness.
I’m sorry I called you fat. I’m sorry I did that in front of your friends.
But, I’m not sorry for not returning your affections. Your body wasn’t standing in the way of how I felt. I didn’t know how to make you and everyone else understand that you just weren’t my type. You were too gentle, too country, too easy, too laid back. Some woman out there has no doubt seen all those qualities in you and scooped you up.
But, I wasn’t going to be one of them. I knew I would run right over you. I’m highstrung, and mouthy, and independent, and stubborn. I can not be with big, blond, gentle giants who no doubt would have loved me hard and built their entire world around me. I can’t be with people like that because I’m too rough with them. I would have hurt you. I knew this. And I was trying so hard to spare you.
And I’m sorry. I’m sorry I called you fat. I’m sorry that came out and I’m sorry we were both put into positions that created the perfect environment for that to occur. I’m sorry you didn’t pick up on my cues that it wasn’t going to happen. I’m sorry our friends didn’t respect either of our feelings about the matter. I’m sorry we were all young and stupid and cruel. And I’m sorry I hurt you. No matter what, I’m sorry.
I hope one day you find this blog and you see that I too am fat now. I hope it gives you a chuckle and I truly hope you feel somewhat redeemed. How fitting: the girl who wouldn’t give you the time of day and who called you fat is now fat herself. I hope you know I don’t mind if you feel a little tug of smug justice being served. I don’t mind at all.
Because regardless of the circumstances, I could have been more kind. And this is a lesson I am every day learning. And I am every day trying to be more kind. I hope you can forgive me for calling you fat. I hope you understand, as I do now, that this should never be an insult and it does not have to define you.